The ad, which also appeared on posters, showed a ladyboy wearing black stockings, knickers and a bra, with an unfastened sheer blouse, with a bottle of Tiger beer in the top left-hand corner and the strapline: The Far East’s Most Desirable Export Since 1932.
Readers complained to the Advertising Standards Authority that linking the word “exports” with a person in a sexually provocative pose brought to mind human trafficking for the sex trade, and that the ad was offensive and disrespectful to eastern culture because it implied beer and sex were some of the best things to come out of the region.
Tiger Beer UK said the campaign did not intend to condone lewd behaviour, human trafficking or the sex trade, but to present Tiger in the context of other exports from the Far East such as tuktuks, chopsticks and acupuncture. The ladyboy pictured in the ad represented a cabaret performer, not a prostitute or model, the company added.
It agreed to remove the ad from its campaign.
The ASA has given Inbev UK’s ads for Stella Artois, which talk about the brand’s heritage dating back to 1366, the green light to keep broadcasting after 94 viewers complained because they thought that maize, listed as one of the beer’s ingredients since the 14th century, would not have been used in brewing at that time.
The ASA said viewers were unlikely to interpret the statement as a literal claim about the ingredients of a 14th-century beer.